Re-Drawing Heterotopias: Challenging Refugee Camps as Other Spaces in Kate Evans’ Threads: From the Refugee Crisis

by Ilaria Oddenino

This essay deals with the “other” spaces that migrants, refugees, asylum seekers find themselves inhabiting within the borders of European nation states. It concentrates on refugee camps in general, and on the Calais “Jungle” in particular. On the model of Michel Agier, I will talk of refugee camps as “heterotopias” adapting the concept developed by Michel Foucault in 1967. I will then concentrate on Kate Evans’ graphic reportage, Threads: From the Refugee Crisis – a first-hand account of the time the author spent in the Calais camp – and I will explore how the comic book illustrates, but also challenges and resists the perception of the camp as “other space” and, therefore, as a space of otherness.